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From time to time, as we noted in August, Dallas County takes to the Internet to auction off stray animals -- donkeys and mules, mostly, and the occasional horse -- found wandering roadways, usually after their owners have cut 'em loose. Dallas County Sheriff's Department Deputy Paul Stroud explained that it's become an even more significant issue in recent months, in large part due to the drought: "I worry that a lot of people are gonna turn 'em out because they can't feed 'em." Which is exactly what's happened.
Hence the item on the Dallas County Commissioners Court's agenda for next week: The Sheriff's Department no longer wants to sell the donkeys, because it's just not worth it -- especially since most of them put on the auction block don't sell, and if they do it's usually for around five, 15 bucks tops. Says the item:
Over the past eighteen months the increasing number of estray donkeys in Dallas County has become a serious problem. Severe drought, increasing cost and availability of hay and the depressed economy are all contributing factors to this increase. Livestock sale barns are no longer accepting donkeys and mules for sale because they have little to no value. [And] selling the donkeys through the auction process has extended the time these animals are held and increased the cost to Dallas County for their care. The monies generated through these sales (average $5-$15/donkey) are not sufficient to cover expenses incurred from veterinary services and feed supplies.
But the Sheriff's Department has found a taker for the county's strays: Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, which has a facility in Dublin and whose offer will save the county a pile of cash. Problem is: In July, Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue's Texas Division issued its own press release about how the "huge problem in donkey abandonment" has left it a bit strapped for cash, because tending for strays ain't cheap: "It costs PVDR approximately $1,000 for every donkey brought into our rescue system."